CHS Spring 2019 Fellows | Lucia Athanassaki

My fellowship at the CHS gives me the opportunity to carry on my work on Euripides’ dialogue with civic iconography. I have already written on that fascinating dialogue with civic iconography in Troades, Ion and Erechtheus. My emphasis has been on the political implications of Euripides’ dialogue with civic iconography and architecture, mainly but not exclusively Athenian. During my stay at the CHS I have studied a number of plays (some of which relate to Katerina Ladianou’s project) but Hippolytus, Andromache, Suppliants and Heracles are particularly relevant to my project.  My readings build on a range of scholarly works including my own discussions of the interrelation of material culture, drama/lyric, and politics. The difference between this study and other scholars’ treatments lies both in its focus and its approach. I am interested in iconography in general, but I focus on monumental iconography (i.e. temples on the Akropolis, the Hephaesteion, the Stoa Poikile etc) which I consider visual ‘intertexts’ that Euripides shared with his audiences. In terms of approach I am interested in the political and ideological significance of Euripides’ dialogue with the visual intertexts. My interest is in politics in its broad sense, i.e. concerns of the polis that are either longstanding or are triggered by events or circumstances contemporaneous with the composition of the plays. I take it for granted that momentous historical events must have been on the poet’s and his audiences’ mind. They are therefore taken into account, but this study does not look for knee-jerk reactions to such events in the plays. On the contrary, the evocation of civic buildings older than the plays, some of them significantly older, is seen as a conscious choice that indicates the adoption of a long-term perspective on the part of the poet, who invites his audience to do the same.

Lucia Athanassaki

Lucia Athanassaki is Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Crete. She holds a BA in Philology from the University of Athens (1980) and a PhD in Classics from Brown University (1990).  She was Dean of the School of Philosophy from September 2014 till August 2018. She has organized many conferences, some for the Network of the Study of Greek Song, which she is now co-chairing. She has published widely on Greek lyric, Attic drama, and Latin lyric, focusing on politics, performance, and its artistic background (full list of publications Her publications include ἀείδετο πὰν τέμενος. Οι χορικές παραστάσεις και το κοινό τους στην αρχαϊκή και πρώιμη κλασική περίοδo (Heraklion 2009), Apolline Politics and Poetics (jointly edited with R. P. Martin and J. F. Miller; Athens 2009), Archaic and Classical Choral Song (jointly edited with Ewen Bowie; Berlin 2011), Ο ιδιωτικός βίος στον δημόσιο λόγο στην ελληνική αρχαιότητα και τον διαφωτισμό (jointly edited with A. Nikolaidis and D. Spatharas; Heraklion 2014), and Gods and Mortals in Greek and Latin Poetry. Studies in Honor of Jenny Strauss Clay (jointly edited with C. Nappa and A. Vergados; Rethymnon 2018). She is also in the process of editing, jointly with Frances B. Titchener, a volume entitled Plutarch’s Cities. Her current main research project is on art, cult, and politics in Euripidean drama, with a special focus on Euripides’ dialogue with civic iconography.